Many of the talents that have joined Holst Centre sofar have relocated from elsewhere in the world. Holst Centre has wide experience in supporting these relocations with regard to immigration issues, housing, social securities, insurances and getting to know the area.
Although the common language in Holst Centre is English (and the Dutch in general speak excellent English) Holst Centre does offer new team members a course in the Dutch language, in order to facilitate a further social embedding in The Netherlands.
While Holst Centre offers an initiation course Dutch to all international employees, maintaining and improving the language skills is up to every individual. Our international co-workers signaled that this was often difficult, since the main language at Holst Centre is English and the Dutch “in the street” often was to fast to understand. Therefore, a Romenian colleague came up with the idea of ‘Language tables’:
Initiator Ionut Barbu, researcher in the lithography on foil program, explains the project: “One colleague who is native Dutch speaking has a weekly lunch with two or three non-native speaking colleagues who already followed a Dutch initiation course. This informal setting in small groups allows to improve your Dutch skills at the right pace and by talking about the topics that you are personally interested in.”
Yulia Galagan, researcher in the Organic Photovoltaics program and participant in the Language tables: “I enjoy the sessions very much. It gives me more opportunities to enjoy social and cultural activities and helps me greatly with my integration in The Netherlands. Also, it is a perfect way to get to know your colleagues better.”